Wednesday, January 31, 2007

from THE LOOM, by Robert Kelly

"There is so much
to remember
but less need to--
the fire
does not memorize,
what it burns
is our best archive,
a wonder
of coming back
today to today
o holy now
within the holy
always, always,
und ewig (Mahler's
paradox, to die away
on that word,
to let the last echo
of Sometime
resounding in Notime
be Always, ewig,
ewig, soft Austrian palatal g,
a hush
on Nature falls)."

From Kelly's THE LOOM published in 1975 by Black Sparrow Press.

The fire is our best archive. I've enjoyed that poetic notion for 29 years. And yet, today I sold my copy of THE LOOM. I'd forgotten I had it listed for sale, of course, which is often the case for a book being brought to my attention.

However, I'm not that sad to see the book go. I've never connected deeply with Kelly's writing. And guess who bought it?

Ron Silliman!

It's a microscopic world.


As I write this I'm listening to Paul Bley play the music of Carla Bley. Marc Johnson on bass and Jeff Williams on drums. Endlessly creative stuff. Sinuous jazz winding on into the night.

Similar to Kelly's lines.

Whereas, Silliman's TJANTING, or, KETJAK, would be more like listening to Steve Reich.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Box 'o Heidegger

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Death of a bowling alley.

Another classic old building bit the dust today in Helena.

One pin left standing

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Sunday, January 21, 2007


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Friday, January 19, 2007

Bedrock Books must move!

In less than a month
Bedrock Books will relocate to Rodney Street.
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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Arresting Sound

David Byrne has been thinking again

Cleaning his brain


Thursday, January 11, 2007

In cold Helena, it's a thicket of media-murk

Glory Daze

Watching Bush address the world last night I couldn't help wondering
who will win the super bowl?
why do girls go wild?
Who'll stop the rain in Spain?
Where is Ralph Waldo Emerson?

Either I have attention deficit reorder nor am I
Like totally sure I want to watch this latest edition
of American Suicide Mission!

Our president appeared to be a man drained of verve
seemed like some Cormacian wraith wandering
ancient empty streets on the outskirts of Bagdad


I was not reassured . . .

As the kid keeps asking in THE ROAD

We're the good guys, right, dad?


Uh huh.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Army of darkness . . .

Recruiting efforts reached a new low recently for U.S. military forces when recruitment letters were sent out to approximately 75 soldiers who had already been killed in combat.

Letters of apology have been sent to the families.

Yet, who better to fight an unending war but the undead?

Resting in peace?

Ascending into heaven: Sounds like cutting and running to me.
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Thursday, January 04, 2007

I read the news today, ohboy . . .

I read today that George Bush expressed regrets that Saddam's hanging couldn't have been carried out in a more "dignified" manner. It's difficult to get the mood just right for a hanging. I watched the cell phone footage, following a link from the Drudgereport–hey, I'm just clicking my mouse, Don't You Judge Me!

Oddly, the only person to bring any sense of dignity to the proceedings was Saddam, himself.

Yes, of course, one wants to watch only the most dignified and sanctimonious of executions. Perhaps they should have hired Mel Gibson to carry out their little spectacle.


We don't hang nearly as many people as we used to.

The last best hanging I saw was an imaginary one: Lars Von Trier hangs Bjork in his musical extravaganza, DANCER IN THE DARK.

It's my impression that hanging is by nature brutal and disgusting. Difficult to sanitize.

"Life is full of shit
when you think of it." (Monty Python)

Wait! I just remembered that Vietnam era street execution where the officer suddenly puts a pistol to the temple of a hand-cuffed prisoner and dispatches him with one shot. Sudden stunning actual video news camera action that took everyone by surprise. Long before the internet, Lo! Before Youtube Brains spraying out the other side of his head; kind of like what happened to JFK.

Swift justice hastily carried out. Almost a kind of dignity in that. War is not civil. Soldiers kill each other.

That's the deal.

The important thing from the standpoint of the individual is to be on the winning side! (If I'm understating the obvious, then maybe I haven't made myself obscure enough.)

I understand that George Bush has purposefully chosen not to watch the bootleg footage of the hanging. Okay, I concede him the higher moral ground on this. As the Yardbirds sang, "Mr. You're a better man than I."


Perhaps the problem with hanging is that it is so intimate. It's on a human scale. No "Shock and Awe" which I assume is supreme viewing for titanic despots. The blinding light of exploding megatons is like the fireworks of freedom to blitzkrieg commanders. Sure it is.

But hanging is sinister and dark and . . . well, personal.

Who is that hooded guy standing next to you?

Is he a Grizzly or a Bobcat?


Hanging. Who needs it?

The inescapable ceremonial and ritualistic actions that surround this event create too much weird social tension. It shouldn't be a tool within the province of the state. Leave it for the suicidal, for whom it is cheap and efficient.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Blind Idiot Wind in the Willows

I'm tired of death

Tired of funerals

No more spam hangings

Spare me your weekend death tolls


Charles S. Peirce defines a moment of feeling as this: "By a feeling, I mean an instance of that kind of consciousness which involves no analysis, comparison or any process whatsoever, nor consists in whole or in part of any act by which one stretch of consciousness is distinguished from another, which has its own positive quality which consists in nothing else, and which is of itself all that it is, however it may have been brought about; so that if this feeling is present during a lapse of time, it is wholly and equally present at every moment of that time."

A moment of true feeling. Shelter from the storm.


Poets should no more be afraid of Bob Dylan than Charlie Parker should be suspicious of Rilke.